In my recent article discussing EV charging options, I delved into the rationale guiding the selection between a Mode 2 (portable, plug-in) charger and a Mode 3 (fixed, wall-mounted) charger. In this forthcoming piece, my focus will shift toward examining the financial considerations associated with the installation of these charging solutions.
A noteworthy caveat is essential: the scope of this article is limited to dwellings equipped with off-street parking, where the provision of charging power to your Electric Vehicle (EV) doesn’t necessitate traversing public spaces or shared property. I will address scenarios involving such situations in separate forthcoming articles.
It’s crucial to underscore the substantial variance in installation costs when it comes to electrical systems. These expenses hinge on factors like the existing electrical infrastructure you’re connecting to, the nature of your home’s construction, and its geographical location.
For instance, if you inhabit a relatively modern, freestanding residence (built within approximately the last two decades), your switchboard and power supply are likely sufficient for straightforwardly introducing an additional circuit. Generally, the power availability should cater to a broad spectrum of EV charging options—except in cases such as Queensland.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you reside in an older domicile equipped with ceramic fuses, limited supply cable capacity, and aging wiring, the installation of EV charging would necessitate extensive upgrades to your home’s electrical framework and switchboard.
Moreover, as highlighted in my preceding article on EV charger selection, my focus remains on Modes 2 and 3 charging possibilities. Mode 4 (DC charging) is neither feasible nor obligatory within the residential context and is rarely logistically feasible.
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Mode 2 charging installation costs:
For those opting for a Mode 2 charging setup, the installation costs exhibit a range: roughly $500 – $600 to set up a single-phase power point adjacent to the switchboard at either 10A or 15A; whereas, for a three-phase 32A outlet, the cost might be around $900.
As expected, as the installation complexity and distance increase, the charges correspondingly escalate, accounting for the hours required, cable length, conduit, and related materials.
Keep in mind, even for a power outlet designated for EV charging purposes, it’s essential that the connection goes directly to the switchboard and is equipped with its distinct circuit breaker.
I also advise wiring the outlet with a cable substantial enough to eventually accommodate a 32A (7kW) Mode 3 charger. The cable cost is a minor fraction of the job expense and paves the way for a streamlined upgrade to a larger charger should you choose to evolve your charging setup in the future. It’s also worth considering the inclusion of data cables during installation, potentially facilitating the integration of a ‘smart’ Mode 3 charger in the future. This can help measure your power usage and photovoltaic (PV) output, and enable communication with the grid—an inclusion that can prove arduous and costly if deferred until later, especially in new construction projects.
By the way, these Mode 2 outlet costs exclude the portable charger itself. As mentioned earlier, it’s advisable to acquire a separate charger for home use rather than solely relying on the one that comes with the vehicle.
Mode 3 charging costs:
The wiring expenses for installing a 32A Mode 3 charger are inherently akin to setting up a standard power outlet for EV charging. The cable run to the switchboard is a constant factor, and circuit breaker costs remain unchanged for 16A, 20A, or 32A variations.
The variance in pricing primarily hinges on the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) expense. Mode 3 chargers span a spectrum, ranging from simpler models at approximately $800 to the more elaborate, feature-rich counterparts that can cost $4000 or more, integrating touchscreens, home energy monitoring, photovoltaic output detection, and app connectivity.
Considering that certain car manufacturers occasionally offer Mode 3 chargers as incentives with the requirement that you cover installation costs, the overall expenditure may be comparable to setting up a Mode 2 PowerPoint.
Conversely, if purchasing the charger independently, the cost range is likely to be between $1300 for a basic setup adjacent to the switchboard (inclusive of a basic charger), up to $5000 or beyond for complex installations demanding data line installation, modem connections, and the integration of various sensors. Additionally, the configuration time required to set up some advanced Mode 3 chargers might be included in the installation quote, as it involves software downloads and customization.
As you are likely beginning to understand, the costs associated with EV charger installation can be as varied as the proverbial “How long is a piece of string.” However, to provide you with an initial stepping stone in your exploration, here’s a simplified overview of EV charging installation costs in uncomplicated scenarios that don’t necessitate addressing older wiring or foundational supply challenges:
Mode 2: (NOT including a portable EVSE)
For those seeking a 10A or 15A single-phase socket outlet, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,200. If your requirements encompass a 16A to 32A three-phase outlet, you can expect costs between $800 and $1,400.
Mode 3: (including EVSE)
For a single-phase 32A (7kW) Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), the cost can vary from $1,300 to $5,000. Similarly, for a three-phase 16A or 32A (11kW or 22kW) EVSE, the cost range extends from $1,500 to $5,300.
Notes: (1). depending on EVSE’s choice
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